Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Battle after the Millennium

These verses describe some interesting conditions and happenings about the end of the Millennium, which I find fascinating to think about:

110 And so on, until the seventh angel shall sound his trump; and he shall stand forth upon the land and upon the sea, and swear in the name of him who sitteth upon the throne, that there shall be time no longer; and Satan shall be bound, that old serpent, who is called the devil, and shall not be loosed for the space of a thousand years.
111 And then he shall be loosed for a little season, that he may gather together his armies.
112 And Michael, the seventh angel, even the archangel, shall gather together his armies, even the hosts of heaven.
113 And the devil shall gather together his armies; even the hosts of hell, and shall come up to battle against Michael and his armies.
114 And then cometh the battle of the great God; and the devil and his armies shall be cast away into their own place, that they shall not have power over the saints any more at all.
115 For Michael shall fight their battles, and shall overcome him who seeketh the throne of him who sitteth upon the throne, even the Lamb. (D&C 88:110-115)

Verse 110 tells us Satan will be bound and not loosed again for 1000 years. One of the things that binds Satan is when he and his temptations are completely ignored. If no one listens, he has no power.

Verse 111 tells us that Satan will be loosed for a little season and allowed to gather together his armies. That means that people start giving into temptation again, which is sad. So there will be some apostasy similar to that described in 4 Nephi.

However, Satan will not be unopposed.

Verse 112 tells us that Michael the seventh angel (or archangel) will gather his armies, the hosts of heaven. We know that Michael is also Adam. So we’ll have the resurrected Adam and all the first-fruits of the resurrection still living on the earth since they were resurrected at the beginning. 

It seems absolutely incredible to me that people would apostatize even with resurrected beings—prophets, Saints, and once-martyrs—still living among them!  It’s insanity!  But it seems to be the case.

Verse 113 tells us the devil will gather the hosts of hell and come up to battle against Michael and his armies. I notice it is the wicked who initiate the attack, not the righteous.

Verse 114 says there will be “the battle of the great God” and the devil and his armies will be cast away to their own place and have no more power over the Saints.  

Now, I have to wonder what idiot will have decided it is a good idea to fight against godly, resurrected beings who can’t die any more.  Obviously mortal apostates can’t win against that!  But maybe they would be deceived into thinking that the resurrected are defenseless because of the profound concern for life they exhibit. Maybe the apostates will think the resurrected will choose to suffer anything rather than defend themselves by taking any life. (Because after all, if you take life, you’ve just ended someone’s probationary period and they might have repented.)  Still, the battles have to be fought for the sakes of those mortals who are still righteous.

Verse 115 says Michael will fight the Saints’ battles. This is an interesting modification on the usual assurance that the Lord would fight our battles.  From the perspective of righteous immortals, it would make sense to have a policy of choosing just one resurrected person to do all the fighting (since one immortal is more than a match for any number of mortals).  No overwhelming show of numbers is necessary. 

I found myself asking why this was all made known so far in the future if we wouldn’t have the change to see it happen in our lifetime. I think it is part of the way that God proves He knows the end from the beginning and prepares the way for various generations to build and exercise their faith in Him. We look at prophecies made far in the past about the gathering of Israel and we see them being fulfilled, so we exercise faith that God will continue to fulfill what He has said will happen in the near future and in the far future.  It will also give future Saints just as much reason to read our modern scriptures to see what has been said of them.